Latest articles


The many facets of drought

Drought has effects that ripple through the supply chain

Manufacturers may start reducing wool content in clothing By Jonathan Barrett Yennora, Australia | Reuters Auctioneer Ian Sharp has been selling Australian agricultural products to the highest bidder since 1968, and he’s never seen demand like this before. Earlier this year, the benchmark price for fine Australian merino wool gained a foothold above the once […] Read more


Maple Leaf quarterly profit beats estimates

Higher prices, growing demand have positively affected the balance sheet

Maple Leaf Foods posted a fourth-quarter profit Feb. 21 that beat estimates, due to better pricing and high demand for its prepared meats and plant-based protein foods. The company, one of Canada’s biggest pork processors, is focusing on expanding into new businesses in the United States. Its latest acquisition was the US$120-million purchase of vegan […] Read more



U.S. weather forecaster sees La Niña chances at 65-75 per cent

The Climate Prediction Center is just the latest in a list of international forecasters to make this observation

A U.S. government weather forecaster has added its voice to a growing chorus calling for La Niña conditions to continue through the winter. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast pegged the chance of La Niña developing at about 65 per cent to 75 per cent […] Read more





Floods and farms fuel jump in methane emissions — researchers

Microbial sources of methane emissions are seen as the most likely source and are common to wetlands and farming

A sharp increase in methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in the Earth’s atmosphere since 2007 is the result of higher emissions from biological sources such as rice paddies, cattle and swamps rather than fossil fuels, researchers recently announced. Methane traps heat, contributing to global warming. In 2014 the growth rate of methane in the atmosphere […] Read more



Climate change could cross key threshold in a decade — scientists

Exceeding global warming targets could mean drastic action is necessary

The planet could pass a key target on world temperature rise in about a decade, prompting accelerating loss of glaciers, steep declines in water availability, worsening land conflicts and deepening poverty, scientists said last week. Last December, 195 nations agreed to try to hold world temperature rise to “well below” 2 C, with an aim of […] Read more


Murders, violence on the rise as parched central India battles for water

Water shortages are prompting people to move to other regions to find water and food

Imrat Namdev and her younger sister Pushpa Namdev were neighbours in Chhatarpur district, in the drought-hit Indian region of Bundelkhand. Both relied on the same well for water and, according to police, frequently quarrelled over how much the other was using. In May, during one fight over water, Pushpa, 42, beat Imrat, 48, with a […] Read more



Study finds not all neonics equal when it comes to risks to bees

Clothianidin, the active ingredient in Poncho and Prosper, may have got a bad rap

A group of chemical insecticides known as neonicotinoids that has been banned in Europe due to fears about potential harm to bees has been found in new research to have very differential risks for bumblebees. Scientists who conducted the research said their findings showed that at least one neonicotinoid in the banned group — clothianidin […] Read more


A cheese wheel backs up this deal

An Italian company is selling bonds based on Parmesan

An Italian dairy co-operative has sold bonds backed by Parmesan cheese, the company said, a rare example of one of the country’s plethora of small firms raising funding on capital markets. Three years of recession have choked bank lending and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government is trying to encourage firms to raise money elsewhere and […] Read more